Resiliency, Gratitude, Peace, and Prevention

Resiliency, Gratitude, and Peace. These are our wishes for you this Holiday Season. Prevention is our wish for the children in our community, and you can help make that wish come true!


According to an article published by the Center on the Developing Child from Harvard University, “The single most common factor for children who develop resilience is at least one stable and committed relationship with a supportive parent, caregiver, or other adult.”

It is through these meaningful relationships that children learn and thrive. We can use everyday experiences to teach children how to handle situations and deal with the unexpected. Don’t shy away from small stressors and instead, use it as opportunities to help children learn to cope. Talk to children about how they are feeling, what are their fears or worries. Talk through situations and help them figure out the best way to handle a problem.

Learning to cope with manageable threats is critical for the development of resilience. Not all stress is harmful. There are numerous opportunities in every child’s life to experience manageable stress—and with the help of supportive adults, this “positive stress” can be growth-promoting. Over time, we become better able to cope with life’s obstacles and hardships, both physically and mentally.”

The Holidays can be a wonderful time, and a stressful time so make sure you are taking moments to enjoy the season with your children. It can be as simple as sitting together and listening to holiday music or enjoying a favorite Holiday movie.

Resilience (


Practicing gratitude on a consistent basis has many benefits and it is something easily done with children. It doesn’t require money or much time and can be as simple as acknowledging out loud the people or things in your life you are grateful for. Practicing gratitude, especially with children going through challenging times, can help them better cope and build resiliency.

Studies have shown gratitude has positive effects on the body and the mind and can boost mood and outlook on life. According to Psychology Today, gratitude can decrease heart rate, likely via the nervous system, and strengthen the emotion related activity of the brain. Find simple things in life you can be grateful for and talk about these things with your children – a beautiful day, a nice walk in the park, our health, a good night’s rest, a favorite meal or just a nice, quite moment at home.

Gratitude and Its Impact on the Brain and Body | Psychology Today


It may seem hard to find peace when things are chaotic and stressful around us. When children have gone through a traumatic experience, it is even more important for caring adults to help children manage their distress. The American Psychological Association, recommends that caregivers listen to children when they express their worries and concerns, and reinforce ideas of safety and security.

Keep home a safe place. Children, regardless of age, often find home to be a safe haven when the world around them becomes overwhelming. During times of crisis, it is important to remember that your children may come home seeking the safe feeling they have being there. Help make it a place where your children find the peace or comfort they need.”

Helping your children manage distress (

For tips on managing stress during the Holidays, visit our blog post: Strategies to Help Manage Holiday Stress – Child Advocacy Center of Niagara (


Child abuse can have long lasting negative effects on children, both physically and mentally. When children grow up in stable, safe, nurturing environments, it improves their overall well-being. Everyone in a community can play a role in prevention and we can all give children the opportunity to thrive.

You can Be the One…

to speak out

  • If you suspect a child is being abused, call the hotline: 1-800-342-3720

to support a child

  • Be a positive role model in a child’s life. Listen, talk, and make healthy choices for yourself and for them.
  • Advocate for laws that protect children.
  • Support agencies and organizations in your community that help children and families.

to model healthy boundaries

  • Children learn from experiences and from watching adults. Model healthy boundaries in your home.

to have the uncomfortable conversations

  • Talk to children about private parts, safe adults, secrets, healthy sexual development, and when age-appropriate – sex and consent.

to learn about grooming and the warning signs of abuse

Indicators of physical abuse can include the following:

  • Injuries to the eyes or both sides of the head or body (accidental injuries typically affect only one side of the body)
  • Frequently appearing injuries such as bruises, cuts, and burns, especially if the child is unable to provide an adequate explanation of the cause. These may appear in distinctive patterns such as grab marks, human bite marks, cigarette burns or impressions of other instruments.
  • Destructive, aggressive or disruptive behavior
  • Passive, withdrawn or emotionless behavior
  • Fear of going home or fear of parent(s)

Indicators of sexual abuse can include the following:

  • Symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases
  • Injury to genital area
  • Difficulty and/or pain when sitting or walking
  • Sexually suggestive, inappropriate or promiscuous behavior or verbalization
  • Expressing age-inappropriate knowledge of sexual relations
  • Sexual victimization of other children

Indicators of maltreatment can include the following:

  • Obvious malnourishment, listlessness or fatigue
  • Stealing or begging for food
  • Untreated need for glasses, dental care or other medical attention
  • Frequent absence from or tardiness to school
  • Child inappropriately left unattended or without supervision

Read this article on red flags of grooming behavior: Identification of Red-Flag Sexual Grooming Behaviors | Psychology Today

to believe a child

to create the safe space

  • You can create a safe space for the children in your life modeling boundaries, respecting a child’s boundaries, listening to and believing what they tell you, acting on suspicions of abuse, and providing a nurturing, loving environment for them where they can truly feel safe and at peace.